surprise-insideI can never decide if I like surprises or not.  They’re fraught with possibilities.  The surprise could be so amazing that it leaves me speechless or so unexpectedly amazing in a completely different way that I don’t know what to say.

Generally if someone surprises you, they’ve put significant thought and effort into planning, secrecy, and execution.  I don’t want to disappoint them.

I’ve been the recipient of a few surprise birthday parties—my Sweet 16 blew me away.   (When I was 16 I had no idea how sneaky my parents could be at party planning–especially my mom.)  While in Africa I planned a murder mystery dinner that turned into a surprise birthday party for me.

Earlier this year I had one of those out of the blue, leave me speechless in the best possible way kind of surprises.  Unexpected encouragement was heaped on me in spades by a complete stranger.

I wrote a guest blog for my friend Jenny.  Linda read it.  She wrote and asked if she could repost it on her blog.  I readily agreed.  I mean, who doesn’t like it when someone thinks what she wrote should be exposed to even more people?

Then Linda did something unexpected.  She encouraged me in a way no one had done before.  She wrote about me and incorporated  another one of my posts in the process–and then told me about it.

In case you don’t click and read, here’s the skinny.  I’m on support.  I have to find partners who believe in me, in the ministry I do, in what God is doing in and with Third Culture Kids, in healthy families in ministry.  I have to ask them to partner with me in this venture.

I’m not good at asking.  If you ask, I’m enthused to tell you.  Asking if you want to know is difficult.  Asking if you want to join in? Even more challenging.

When I wrote in May I was struggling with getting my presentation together and starting to ask.  Then summer hit.  I had little time to focus on the programs under my purview let alone my support.

As I reflect on Linda’s boldness in advocating for me, my heart simultaneously sings and is humbled.

My summer ended.  It’s now time to work on finding new ministry partners.  I’m a bit daunted again.  Then I remember Linda—a complete stranger—and her words, her cheerleading, and her advocacy.

I know this is where I’m supposed to be.  If this is where I need to be, this is what I need to do.

When the surprise is sincere encouragement, I’m game.  Bring it on!

photo courtesy of Don Shall

Tags: , , , , , ,

8 Responses to “Unexpected”